Excellent, commented list from Human Events. In a nutshell:
- No job creation
- Massive national debt, getting worse
- Obamacare – much worse than advertised
- Foreign-policy a disaster
- Dead economy
- Class warfare a major theme
- Mr. “bring us together” is the most partisan president of all
- Biden must go, too!
- Make his Chicago-mafia accomplices clear out, too!
- No plan for future, no record to run on
Ulsterman has published a new White House Insider post, with some exciting info about the changing fortunes (even literally) of the Obama re-election campaign. Here’s a snippet about the latter; there’s much more in the article itself.
Momentum. Momentum. Momentum. We got it. They don’t. There is some feedback circling the drain from the Obama side. Operatives saying they are going to lose this thing. When people in the campaign start to voice that stuff enough that the other side is hearing it, that gives you a snapshot of where the campaigns are really at. I put the governor’s chances at 70% right now.
Did you notice the Oregon news? I told you the internals on that about two weeks ago, right? Nobody in the media saw that coming. Now they are confirming Oregon is in play. Oregon! And there is a ton more like that on the map.
And the Obama campaign knows it. We’re feeding it to them. A little here and there. Pissing in their cheerios every morning. Hey look guys! Now Pennsylvania is trending Romney. Enjoy the rest of your day now. They don’t know where to go from here. Having to borrow money.
Recently I discussed the global controversy over China’s short-term cornering of the market in strategic, rare-earth minerals. This issue has legs, as they say, and WSJ’s China Real Time Report blog reports on it today:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is raising the issue ahead of this weekend’s Group of 20 nations in South Korea, as are business groups around the world. Some have said China should face international pressure at the G20 to export more rare earths. There are also suggestions the U.S., Germany or Japan should file a complaint over China’s export quotas at the World Trade Organization.
The blog goes on to point out what I did, that this shortage is a short-term one:
Production is already ramping up quickly [from Australia' Lynas Corp. and U.S.-based Molycorp]. As this production comes online outside China, supply will actually outstrip demand by around 20,000 metric tons in 2015, according to according to the copy of a presentation by two of the world’s leading rare earth analysts reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Globally activity is already ramping up quickly, as old industries like the oil sector and new ones like battery makers clamor for answers. As rare earth production outside China comes online, supply will actually outstrip demand by around 20,000 metric tons in 2015, according to a presentation by two of the world’s leading rare earth analysts reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
In their joint presentation for an industry event, the analysts, Judith Chegwidden, managing director of Roskill Information Services and Dudley Kingsnorth, executive director of Industrial Minerals Co. of Australia, put global demand at 185,000 metric tons in 2015 from 125,000 metric tons in 2010.
It appears the hullaballoo is over the current problem of shortages and export delays. And no wonder, since Japan’s consumer-focused export industries (autos, electronics) use considerable amounts of rare-earth minerals and rely on a constant supply at competitive prices.
Over the longer term, however, it appears the U.S.A. will enjoy the position – via Molycorp — of providing a sought-after commodity that, not incidentally, is critical to the production of U.S. military products.
International deiplomacy is usually conducted — with the exception of U.N. grandstanding — on a very polite level, with tough talk reserved for closed-door meetings. This makes the international response to the Fed’s $600-billion purchase of U.S. Treasury notes (QE2) exceptional for its frank criticism of the move.
Germany’s Spiegel magazine interviewed that nation’s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, and got some pretty blunt responses, such as this one [my emphasis]:
The German export successes are not the result of some sort of currency manipulation, but of the increased competitiveness of companies. The American growth model, on the other hand, is in a deep crisis. The United States lived on borrowed money for too long, inflating its financial sector unnecessarily and neglecting its small and mid-sized industrial companies. There are many reasons for America’s problems, but they don’t include German export surpluses.
How can anyone disagree with this viewpoint? Yet the current administration, and Bernanke’s Federal Reserve, think they’re doing the right thing by inflating the money supply (which will lead pretty quickly to domestic inflation and price increases for gasoline and other imported goods — in other words, nearly everything we consume).
Below are several more Spiegel questions, followed by Schauble’s replies (with my emphasis).
SPIEGEL: Last week, the US Federal Reserve Bank decided to flood the economy with $600 billion in new money ["QE2"]. Will this stimulate the economy as hoped?
Schäuble: I seriously doubt that it makes sense to pump unlimited amounts of money into the markets. There is no lack of liquidity in the US economy [from previous transfers of cash to financial institutions], which is why I don’t recognize the economic argument behind this measure.
SPIEGEL: The US wants to depress the value of the dollar in this way, so that it can sell its products abroad more easily. In light of the ailing US economy, isn’t that a completely reasonable strategy?
Schäuble: No. The Fed’s decisions bring more uncertainty to the global economy. They make it more difficult to achieve a reasonable balance between industrialized and emerging economies, and they undermine the US’s credibility when it comes to fiscal policy. It’s inconsistent for the Americans to accuse the Chinese of manipulating exchange rates and then to artificially depress the dollar exchange rate by printing money.
It’s embarrassing to hear the truth from foreigners, especially when it’s obvious Schauble could say much more but is attempting to retain at least a veneer of diplomatic grace.
UPDATE, 8pm: U.S. Navy admiral weighs in
FoxNews’ Shepherd Smith interviewed Ret. Navy Admiral John Stufflebeem, who posited three possibilities: 1) a U.S. government agency, 2) “a private rocketeer,” or 3) “something sinister.”
Stufflebeem stated that NORAD has sophisticated sensors scanning the visual and infrared spectrums, and if a launch doesn’t trigger alert thresholds, it must not be big enough to do us any damage. He also stated that atmospheric conditions (e.g., extra water vapor) could make the contrail look much bigger than it otherwise might look.
Smith was dubious, and suggested that the Government did launch something, but didn’t want to admit it. Stufflebeem replied that it doesn’t do any good for the Government to hide a launch — but that it may have been a classified-program launch. He didn’t speculate about what “something sinister” could be.
UPDATE 6pm: Was it an airplane exhaust contrail, instead?
More than 12 hours after a KCBS news helicopter videotaped a missile exhaust plume rising over the Pacific Ocean, some 35 miles off Los Angeles, the Department of Defense has no official explanation regarding who launched the missile or why:
“Nobody within the Department of Defense that we’ve reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is, where it came from,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan said.
Lapan said that “all indications” are that the Defense Department was not involved within the mystery object, and that the contrail might have been created by something flown by a private company.
Normally any missile test would require notification so that mariners and pilots could be warned or air space closed, but that may not have been done in this case, Lapan said.
“It does seem implausible, and that’s why at this point the operative term is ‘unexplained,’ ” he said. “Nobody … within the Department of Defense that we’ve reached out to has been able to explain what this contrail is.”
Missile tests are common off Southern California. Launches are conducted from vessels and platforms on an ocean range west of Point Mugu. (Thanks to AP via Navy Times).
Given the compartmenting of information in high-level “black” defense programs, it’s possible — but unlikely — a test launch could occur without the public-facing DoD staffs being notified.
If it’s not a hush-hush U.S. launch, nor a start-up’s commercial launch, then who could be responsible for launching what’s being called an ICBM from the ocean near our second-largest city? Could the Chinese — who are outraged over the Fed’s QE2 actions to devalue the dollar — possibly have moved a “boomer” close to our coast, without being shadowed by our satellites or attack subs, with the specific purpose of warning the Obama administration not to continue its destructive financial policies?